Tired of making banana bread and looking for an alternative? Well, what about a spice cake or kruidkoek? It’s also made in a bread tin and you eat it with some butter spread on top. In the Netherlands this is a breakfast alternative which is a treat in itself, so I’ll include a recipe for a spice cake.
Growing up in South Africa with Dutch parents, we were exposed to an amazing array of Dutch and South African cuisine. One of our many treats included kruidkoek, also called peperkoek or ontbijtkoek (breakfast cake). This cake has a similar texture as ginger cake.
Kruidkoek has been baked in the Netherlands since the 16th century and different regions in the Netherlands have different varieties of this cake. My mom hails from the western parts of the Netherlands – Naaldwijk to be precise – so the recipe I have comes from there. As child this was definitely one of my favourite cakes and I still love it.
Here it is:
Recipe : Kruidkoek
½ cup syrup
1 cup sugar (dark brown)
¼ pound butter (about 125 g)
2½ cups flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
½ packet of orange peel (100g – optional, some recipes also suggest raisins)
1 cup boiling water mixed with 1 tsp baking soda (let it cool down)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4, and grease a bread tin.
- Melt the syrup, sugar and butter together and let it cool down a bit.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together.
- Add the melted butter-mix with the dry ingredients.
- Mix in the baking soda and water.
- Pour into the greased baking tin and bake for about an hour on the middle shelf.
Enjoy the mouthwatering smells wafting through the house while this cake is in the oven.